A cultured collaboration

Donaldson Company and SurModics have entered into a joint development agreement to combine Donaldson’s nanofibre technology with SurModics’ surface modification technology.


Donaldson Company, a worldwide manufacturer of filtration systems, and SurModics, a provider of surface modification and drug delivery technologies to the healthcare industry, have entered into a joint development agreement to combine Donaldson’s nanofibre technology with SurModics’ surface modification technology.



The two companies are jointly developing 3D Ultra-Web Synthetic Extracellular Matrix (ECM) products to enhance cell culture, cell-based bioassays, and other in vitro cell-related applications.



Currently, researchers must choose between traditional two-dimensional plastic or glass culture surfaces bearing no resemblance to in vivo conditions, or biologically derived matrices, which are expensive and inconsistent. Donaldson and SurModics are developing a tailored, synthetic 3D cell culture platform that more accurately emulates the cells’ native environment, making research results more relevant.



Ongoing research done in collaboration with Dr. Sally Meiners and Dr. Melvin Schindler is showing that the technology will have important applications for use in basic research and cell-based high throughput screening (HTS) for the discovery and development of new drug compounds.



“Our first research results with Ultra-Web Synthetic ECM were recently published in two journals: Biomaterials and Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications (BBRC),” said Dr. Schindler. “During the past year, we have performed additional testing using the SurModics technology to attach biologically active peptides to Ultra-Web Synthetic ECM.”



“The results from these experiments suggest peptide modification of Ultra-Web dramatically enhances biological activity of stem cells and neurons,” added Dr. Schindler. “We expect our latest results to be published in the next few months. With the combined technologies, the research community will now have a “tool kit” for cell culture that can be used to promote the appropriate biological response for various cell types.”